Nikolai Romanovski (standing, 2nd from left) is seen here serving time for embezzlement at Tengleholtz, a stark prison camp in the desolate province of Westerwald. Following his release, Romanovski would involve fellow inmates and career criminals Francisco El Picar, Al Zarlingo, Mr. Sernray, Cedarsane, and Mr. Eleven in a major financial scandal.
In 1957, the U.S. Secret Service discovered that Romanovski had been flooding the U.S. market with false currency in an attempt to weaken the American economy. A master counterfeiter, Romanovski had employed his fellow inmates who had since been transferred to Fort Worlem, Rocaterrania’s new federal prison, to manufacture his phony bills and bank checks using a homemade press inside prison walls.
Kuhler never made much money, but he valued his independence, so finances were a constant worry of his. He invented this storyline one day while doodling on canceled checks and recalling the 1950 American comedy film Mr. 880.
Mr. 880, starring Burt Lancaster and Dorothy McGuire, was based on the true story of Emerich Juettner (aka Edward Mueller), an Austrian-American immigrant who counterfeited U.S. $1 bills and eluded the U.S. Secret Service from 1938 to 1948.